Thursday, October 23, 2014

wood grain goodness

So the floor?  Done...



It's lovely.  Although it's too cold to go roll around in the grass outside, I'll just lounge about on this expanse of pine.


Sadly, it's not an exact match to the original graining - I didn't have enough time to experiment with the technique given our tight deadline, so the color ended up a tad dark with a less distinct grain. Truthfully this resulted in a more realistic looking floor, but it's still regrettable.  Even more so since I have to carry this through to the dining room, hallway and butlers pantry.  I had planned on writing a bit of a tutorial for getting the grain right since it's such a common treatment, but there's no point given my failure...  What we ended up using was red elm gel stain as the glazing medium over the gold paint, cutting it with mineral spirits if it got too thick.  Every graining tool I tried to use made lines that were too thin.  After trying everything I could think of I ended up buying a silicone basting brush.  It worked, don't judge me.


I was just the girl sitting on the floor of her entry room with all the curtains open flogging the floor with a basting brush for 10 hour stretches...


The cold and damp weather was the biggest hurdle to getting this done.  The stain took three days to dry enough for the poly, and in that time an enormous amount of shiba inu and ragdoll hair embedded themselves in the thick goo.  Unlike debris in poly, I couldn't just sand it out.

the fuzzy culprits...
OBVIOUSLY his nose was cold...

 So, I chose to ignore it.  Three coats of poly over the last three days and the floors are done.  I used varathane semi-gloss (semi-gloss matches the gloss of the waterlox I use elsewhere) to protect the paint, and while normally I'm not a big fan of poly, this looks pretty damn good.  The can advertises it's "aluminum oxide nano technology," which I would normally mock, but given how even the first coat resisted being sanded, maybe I'll give it a pass...

9 comments:

  1. You own two of my favorite animals! I'm currently trying to get involved with the Washington DC Shiba rescue, DCSIR. I want to foster - I need my Shibe!

    The floor really does look amazing. I know it doesn't match the original graining, but are there places where new and old are side by side?

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    1. There really isn't anything on the planet quite like a shiba - just be prepared for them to own your house, even if they're just visiting (and be careful of them and kitties - they live to hunt). We're waiting on a malamute puppy at the moment, it'll be nice to have two again, but Luke will NOT be pleased...And the ragdolls are total hams, Lucy (Lucifer Sam) was a rescue, I have no idea how I got soooo lucky!

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  2. I've got my grandpa's homemade metal graining combs that I'm dying to try out some day. But I'm going to pick a much SMALLER project than you did.

    Only four more doors to finish staining and varnishing and then I'm calling it quits until spring. :)

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    1. I've been thinking about buying a set, how cool that yours have such a history. Good luck with the doors, we'll be doing the same around here once the good weather vanishes for good.

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  3. Well I can't tell the difference from the photos at least. And in a stroke of brilliance, I'll be painting, staining, and varnishing all my trim in the bleak mid winter. Which I guess means I should hurry up and see about getting my radiators blasted right?

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    1. For sure - just make sure whatever work needs to get done behind them is completed while they're out. That's the current hurdle we're facing now. Incidentally, Harbor Freight has really cheap media blasters, we're been thinking it may be more cost effective to buy one and do it ourselves.

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  4. Looks super!!! Perhaps this can serve as motivation to one day play around with samples to see if I can match our downstairs doors. The original finish is fine-grained faux mahogany over heart pine, ruined by previous owners who painted doors and trim Redskins Gold. Fortunately, they didn't prep the doors very well and large sections of the original graining is visible after I picked off the layers of gold paint. There's enough to use as inspiration and I hope to at least duplicate the inside of the two living room doors ... maybe the mantel in that room, too.

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    1. I'm beginning to celebrate poor paint prep, the flat sections of most of our moldings peel right off too! If the finish is straight-grained mahogany I have no doubt you can do it, it seems to be one of the easiest and prettiest grains you can do...

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